Love is precious. Love is priceless. Love fills up your heart. Love fills up your soul. It needs to be cherished, supported, cared for, respected and appreciated for all it can bring into your life.
For those of you who know me, you know how much I love everything about love. I believe that love conquers all. I discovered this belief when I married my amazing husband. Together for 13+ years and blissfully married (twice) for almost 8, I’ve learned a lot of lessons about love. And what do I do with my lessons learned? I share them. You may not agree with everything that you read here and that is okay. These are some of the lessons that have made my relationship with my husband thrive and connect us in a way I never imagined possible. My wish for you is that you find another soul that you can connect to in the same way. If anything resonates with you, let it guide you towards your desires. If it doesn’t, just say, “works for you, not for me.” Basically what I mean is, take what you want and leave the rest, but have an open heart, an open mind, and an open soul to the belief that you can create your own happily ever after.
My Personal Love Lessons
Respect each other. Treat each other with respect. Respect means listening to each other’s likes, dislikes, dreams, wishes, feelings, desires and passions. It means giving each other room to grow and change with one another. Respect also means not using each other as your own verbal punching bags. Respect each other not just as life partners, but also as human beings.
“A healthy relationships, whether it’s romantic, brotherly, or friendly, is when each person is allowed room to grow, unjudged, and still loved.”
Love each other like you did when you first met. I get it, things change, people change, situations change, life changes. But don’t let your love die by not giving it the attention and respect that it deserves. That is what kills love. It’s not time, it’s lack of commitment. It is lack of love deposits into the relationship. Like a bank, if you stop putting money into it, you will go broke. Love needs to be nurtured. Love needs attention. Love needs appreciation. Love needs intimacy. Love needs communication. Love needs connection. Love needs time. Love needs tenderness.
Don’t miss out on special moments for laundry, chores, dishes, or errands. Those things will always be there. Basically what I mean is, don’t push away a hug because you “have” to wash a dish. The dish can wait, the hug cannot. Keep pushing away those hugs and one day they will stop coming.
Lean on each other. When things get tough, don’t push each other away, don’t ignore each other and give the silent treatment. Instead, wrap each other up in tenderness and love. I know things can be difficult, and you think you want to be alone, stay pissed off, be sad and maybe even take it out on your partner. That may feel easier than being vulnerable, but it takes more energy to push each other away than it does to use your love to strengthen your bond and heal your heart. The day you made the decision to join lives, you became so lucky. You will never again have to take on challenges alone because you have each other. You chose each other, so lean on each other.
“The biggest crime is that we all do this alone and look down on people who don’t.”
Sexy Time. Sorry mom and dad, I’m talking about sex.
The one thing I tell all my clients who complain that they want soap opera romance is this: stop taking sex so seriously. It doesn’t have to be so serious, or even perfect all the time with rose petals on the bed. Have fun. Make each other laugh and just enjoy each other. The intimacy you feel when you make love to your partner will strengthen your bond and make you feel emotionally closer, not just physically closer.
Don’t make excuses about not having time. If you don’t want to have sex that’s okay, but don’t blame it on time. There is always time if you truly want it. You can make time for intimacy, even if it is 5 minutes in the shower while getting ready for work. Get creative with your time and location.
Dress up for your partner. Yes, they should love you no matter what. But remember how much effort you put in when you first met your partner? If you want to be desired, be desirable. It’s not just for your partner, but for you as well. I’m not talking about dressing up in fancy dresses, and loading on the makeup. I’m talking about not having them see you in sweat pants every day. Jeans and t-shirt can be incredibly sexy. Brush your hair, throw on some lip-gloss and you are set. When you feel good about yourself, it will enhance your desire to want to be intimate with your partner.
Lastly, have date nights just like when you first started dating. You might not be able to be spontaneous, but that is okay. Schedule it, plan it and make sure you keep the date. If you have to schedule sex, schedule it! Life is not a soap opera. You have a job, possibly children and a busy life. Make having sex a part of your schedule.
Don’t be the PERFECT ONE. Be the RIGHT ONE. Your partner doesn’t want you to be perfect; they want you to make them feel loved, respected, desired, and appreciated. If you have chosen the right partner, they will want to make you feel the same way. If not, maybe he or she isn’t the right person for the job.
Communicate. We don’t know what we don’t know. We are not mind readers, so communication is key. My husband and I talk about everything. Our hopes, our dreams, our goals, money, children, what we want from each other, sex, and we even ask each other how we are doing as husband and wife. It can be as simple as “are you happy?” Be aware of each other’s feelings. The only way to do that is to talk. We still have all night talks just like when we first started dating. You can even try this fun dinner table conversation tool that I wrote about in another blog. Check it out here.
Money talk. The most important conversation is money. Money is one of the number causes of arguments and divorce. Stop arguing about money and get together to work out a plan. Know your numbers, individually and as a couple. What do you owe? How much do you spend? What do you need to survive? My husband and I try to never argue about money. I think we’ve argued about it twice and realized right away that we just needed to communicate. We made a deal years ago that no matter what we would always communicate about our finances. We know where our money comes from, where it goes and what we want to save for in the future. All of this took planning, talking, lots of wine, and a professional financial advisor. If you only take one thing from this blog, make it this one.
If you say, “I forgive you,” mean it. Unless you mean it when you say, “I forgive you” don’t say it. This creates a lack of trust and respect in a relationship. Your words become empty and your partner will start to hide everything from you knowing that the battle will be never-ending. When you accept an apology it’s over, done, caput. Don’t bring it up again in another argument because you don’t have any other ammunition to use. For example, “Oh yeah, well 6 months ago you did…” If you didn’t mean those words 6 months ago, continue to work with each other and communicate until you feel like it has been resolved and you can truly move on and forgive.
Pick your battles. This brings me to my last lesson, which is similar to the one above. Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy? What you arguing about? Is it even worth the argument and snarky, sarcastic remarks? Or is it worth making your partner feel small? For example, does it really matter how or when the dishes get done? Does it really matter if your partner doesn’t fold laundry the way you want them to? Does it really matter if he or she doesn’t do things the way you want them done? Don’t make a battle out of things because you want them done your way. You know what I’m talking about.
I hope there are some lessons here that you can take into your relationship. Starting today, plan a date, have sex, talk about things that are bothering you, and most importantly, LOVE EACH OTHER.
Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl